27 March 2011

My Opinion is the New Popcorn. Don't see a Film Without It!

I started a post about the pitfalls of technology, but I had to shelve that for a later date. Suffice to say, I just couldn’t make the words flow. I wanted humor, it was becoming a lecture.

Since I have been largely shirking my academic responsibilities this weekend, I thought I’d write a little bit on some films I saw.

Zee is out of town for a few weeks, so I am exercising my film going obsession. I saw three different films this weekend, “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and two discount flicks, “The Eagle”,” and “The Mechanic.” Yes, all three are obviously referring to specific people or items. The latter two can be combined into one title, “The Waste of Time.” The former is worth discussing a little bit.

It really is not fair to slam something without saying why, so here is the quick and dirty on the two cinematic disasters. First, I paid $3 to see them, so value is relative. Mostly I want the 3.5 hours of my life back.

In “The Eagle,” they managed to ignore the first rate efforts of several TV shows addressing Roman life to create a weird mess of a buddy movie instead. The dialogue is written by a 6th grader who doesn’t understand subtlety; the action scenes are straight out of a 1980s era matinee. Chatum Tanning is in no way ready to carry a historical epic, even when it goes real light on history. I was unaware you could go so far north on the island of Britain in the 1st Century AD that you would encounter pre Iron-Age indigenous people wielding weapons of seal bone and wood. From there on, the movie basically becomes the chase scene from “Apocalypto.” Save yourself the trouble and watch the DVD version of HBO’s series, “Rome.” It is a stupendous romp through ancient Rome. If you really go for the violence and sex angle, check out the immensely entertaining Showtime series entitled, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.” Despite, (or maybe because of), its borderline soft-core porn scenes, it is a lot of fun!

“The Mechanic,” is a remake of the 1972 hit man saga starring the late great Charles Bronson. The similarity ends at the title. Jason Statham burst onto the international scene as a Guy Ritchie favorite in “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.” Both those films occupy high positions on my all-time favorite lists. Unfortunately, Statham has made a series of increasingly bad choices ever since. Here is the entire plot line of, “The Mechanic.” A moody psychotic killer kills people for profit. He works for some giant douche bags. They make him kill his friend, who is just sort of an old douche bag. Then he takes the equally douche bag like son of that friend in and teaches him a lifetime of killing arts in one simple montage. They kill some other douche bags, then have a go at each other. Nowhere do you ever give a damn for anybody, and that includes the hooker with a heart of gold…The end. Any guesses on what I think the title ought to be? Skip this dreck and rent the 1972 version. If Charles Bronson is not cool enough for you, the 1972 era car phone is worth watching the entire film to see.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s move on to better topics. “The Lincoln Lawyer” was a mixed bag for me. I am a fan of Michael Connelly’s books featuring detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch. They are engrossingly good mysteries. I recently met Mickey Haller, aka The Lincoln Lawyer, while digging through the bargain hardback bin at Barnes & Noble. I feel like this Connelly series lacks the depth of the Bosch novels and that definately translated into the movie adaptation.

I also have to be honest; I got suckered into seeing “Failure to Launch” AND “Fool’s Gold” so Matthew McConaughey owes me a few hours of my life back! Nonetheless, I happen to love good legal thrillers, so I took a shot.

The film is short on details, which means it really fails to grip you like say, “True Believer,” or "Blood Work." Being the first in a series, the main goal of this film seemed to be setting up sequels. However, it isn’t all bad. The part is custom made for McConaughey’s smart ass, one liner acting style. Marisa Tomei comes back to the legal theme; she is solid but don’t expect Oscar magic to strike twice. William H. Macy plays a gay private detective, so that alone is worth your time. The plot revolves around a rich spoiled douche bag, apparently on loan from “The Mechanic,” who has a thing for getting away with murder. Overall an entertaining story, even if it is a bit light on depth.

A really great point is the soundtrack. It opens with “Ain’t no Love in the City” and scrolls through a variety of urban rap tunes with classic R&B hooks. Not normally my cup of tea, but catchy enough that I sprang for the iTunes download.

So that was a couple of wild nights on the town in my world. I hope you were able to handle the thrills and spills. Thanks for coming along and I’ll see you again real soon!


  1. Phew I need to sit down after reading the exciting life you lead.

    Snatch and 2 smoking barrels are brilliant flicks. As are the series Rome and Spartacus. So you are right there and if you are right there then you should be right in your views of the films you mentioned. So I won't bother seeing any until the DVD comes out at the library. Should be out around 2045, can't wait!

    Cheers A

  2. AG, my life is a social whirlwind no doubt...:) Glad you find the reviews plausible. I make a point to watch the Guy Ritchie double header at least once a year...Thanks as always for your suppport.

  3. That was a cool read! Well done reviews... Thanks Paul...:)

  4. Jorie, you are most welcome. Thank you for dropping by and for the kind words! :)

  5. Paul, I am a little bit disappointed as I was really looking forward to watching the 'Lincoln Lawyer'. May still see it, but will have your review in my head:)
    Thanks, as always, for sharing!

  6. Mary, I apologize. I hope I didn't spoil anything for you. It is not unworthy of a viewing, I just would have liked a little more depth. A lot of people loved it, so I might just be too nit picky...

    If you have not seen it, try Clint Eastwood's "True Crime" or 1989s "True Believer" starring James Woods. Those are good examples of legal thrillers in my opinion...

  7. Thanks for the heads up on those films. I too liked Jason Statham in Snatch. unfortunately I have not watched the other one you have mentioned so will go and look out for it!

  8. OtienoHongo, Thanks for stopping by. "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" predated "Snatch." While the stories are unrelated, it has a lot of the same actors, playing completely different characters, all within the London underground crime scene again... Scathingly funny stuff! definately check it out if you liked "Snatch."

  9. I meant "definitely." LOL...